Roger Williams Park Zoo Welcomes Critically Endangered Red Cub
On May 5, 2022, the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island, welcomed a cub born to 6-year-old Brave and 7-year-old Diego.
According to a statement from the organization,1 this birth is crucial because it promotes the survival of the species since there are only 15 to 20 red wolves left in the wild, all located in eastern North Carolina. This pup is the first of its kind born at the Roger Williams Park Zoo since 2005 and the first successful birth for Brave and Diego.
Zoo keepers and the veterinary team monitor Brave and her pup through an infrared camera in their birthing den. About 72 hours after birth, zoo officials acknowledged that the pup had no tail via camera. In an email to dvm360®, the team explained that they believe the mother accidentally damaged the baby’s tail while moving the pup in the first 24 hours. The cameras allow the team to keep a closer watch on Brave and her pup as she navigates her early motherly duties. Brave currently appears to be showing normal and positive parental care.
Wolves and dogs use their tails to communicate in social interactions, but zoo team members believe the pup can adapt to overcome this handicap by maximizing other visual and vocal behaviors in pack situations. .
“We are thrilled that the red cub is thriving and reaching all of the expected developmental milestones despite the early loss of its tail. The veterinary care team are due to undergo a hands-on wellness exam and first round of vaccinations later this week,” Kimberlee Wojick, DVM, DACZM, senior vet at Roger Williams Park Zoo, said in the email. dvm360®.
Mother and pup will stay in the den until they are ready to wander outside where guests can see them.
In 1980, red wolves were listed as extinct in the wild.1 Through a partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Red Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP), the last 14 remaining wild red wolves have been captured and brought to zoos to launch a captive breeding program, with the aim of potentially reintroducing them into the wild. This SSP and all species survival plans aim to create and maintain a healthy, genetically diverse population. Through the efforts of these partner facilities nationwide, the population of red wolves in captivity has steadily increased to approximately 250 wolves.1
Critically endangered red puppy born at Roger Williams Park Zoo. Press release. Roger Williams Park Zoo and Carousel Village. May 27, 2022. Accessed June 20, 2022. https://www.rwpzoo.org/about-us/pressroom/press-releases/critically-endangered-red-pup-born-roger-williams-park-zoo